U.S. Cavalry Officer’s Uniforms Grouping; Colonel William F. Clark SOLD

Uniforms In The Rank Of Lt. Colonel

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This grouping consists of Colonel Clark’s 1895 pattern Undress Coat, Evening Dress Coat, Trousers, and a Full Dress Cap, Going by date of purchase we begin with the evening dress coat made by “Richard Springe of Leavenworth, Kansas,” with Clark’s name written on label with rank of captain, and dated 10/4/11. The dark blue wool is in excellent condition, retaining all of the original 1912 pattern buttons marked, “Extra Quality, London.” Bullion tape quatrefoil his 4 separate loops applied (rank of Lt. Col.) and of these 3 different styles have been added by various tailors as needed with new rank. Each tape is different and has toned differently as well, telling this soldier’s promotion history. There are no insignia on the cuff, but were pin-back insignia. The shoulder tabs and buttons are made by, “Wm H. Horstmann Co, Phila. and have applied Lt.Colonel oak leaf silver bullion rank. The gold bullion tabs show toning, darkening with age, with bright showing from beneath in protected areas. A black wool vest, for civilian evening wear came with this lot and is included.

Next is the undress coat, made by the same Leavenworth tailor, Richard Springe with the label bearing Major Clark’s name and date 7-23-13. This dark blue wool coat is excellent as well, with the mohair trim retaining it’s dark rich color (many mohair trimmings used by various tailors in this period, will often fade to a green tone). The collar insignia is brass pin-back with the cavalry branch insignia void of any regiment designation as Clark was detached from his regiment and was on temporary assignment as commander of the St. Louis Quartermaster Depot. The Lt. Col. Cavalry Shoulder straps are in fine condition with typical toning to the bullion. The golden yellow wool shows some light mothing and soiling, but minimal and really does not detract as evidenced in photos. Only one small area of roughness (that has been repaired) to the right side opening of the collar, between the two hooks represents the only flaw to this coat.

The trousers are made by Hatfield & Sons, 12 West 31st St., New York, and Major Clark names is written here as well with the date, Feb 1914. Condition mirrors that of the rest of the clothing in the lot, with a few areas that show moth tracking, and hardly visible.

Clark must have purchased his hat while in New York by “The Warnock Uniform Co.” The then major’s name does not appear anywhere in the hat. The pattern is the 1912 for a field grade officer having the bullion oak leaves embellishing the visor. The bullion eagle insignia is very high quality with great three dimensional relief. Bullion overall shows toning. The blue wool shows some areas of moth tracking, mostly on the crown, but confined to largely on area. I do not find it to be distracting. There is one moth track that goes through the wool (1/16 x 1/4 long approx.), and some more tracking on the body of the hat, but you will have to hunt for it. The lining is fine conditioned with the leather sweatband showing light use. More mothing occurs on the blue wool where it joins the visor area. Size of the hat is 7.

For the age, the condition is far better than one could hope for. As for history, Colonel Clark joined the 7th Cavalry just after Wounded Knee; served with the 2nd Cavalry most of his career, and was in Cuba with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and the 10th Cavalry at the Battle of El Canay, and San Juan Hill. He also saw service at Aquadores, and Santiago, and later one tour in the Philippines.  I have included his bio from the USMA 1923 Annual Report.

A very fine group for an officer who served in the last years of the horse cavalry prior to the tank, being the new emerging “horse” in gasoline warfare.

 

Extract: Annual Report of the Association of Graduates (USMA) 1923.

WILLIAM FRANKLIN CLARK

No. 3364. Class of 1890.

“Died, March 4, 1922, at Baltimore, Maryland, aged 57 years. William Franklin Clark was born in Indiana on the 4th of March, 1865. At the age of twenty he entered the United States Military Academy and was graduated from that .institution on the 12th of June, 1890. On completion of the leave granted him after graduation, Lieutenant Clark joined his regiment, the 7th Cavalry, at Fort Sill. Thereafter his duties as a commissioned officer took him as far west as the Pacific coast and as far south as the Mexican border, but seldom east of the Mississippi River.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Lieutenant Clark was detailed as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Baker University, Baldwin, Kansas, but before he had entered upon his duties at that place he was directed to muster into federal service the organizations of the Kansas Militia. When that task had been completed he requested to be returned to duty with his regiment which he joined enroute to Cuba.

During the time he was in Cuba, Lieutenant Clark was highly commended for his activity on patrol and escort duty, and while there he received his promotion to the grade of Captain of Cavalry. After the conclusion of the Spanish-American War the usual duties of a line officer devolved upon Captain Clark. In 1912 he was promoted to the grade of Major and in 1916 to that of Lieutenant Colonel. He served a tour in the Philippines.

Upon the entry of the United States into the European conflict in 1917, Lieutenant Colonel Clark received a temporary appointment as Colonel and was assigned to the command of the Quartermaster Depot at St. Louis, Missouri. It was there that his outstanding ability as an organizer displayed itself. During Colonel Clark’s tenure of office as commandant of the depot many millions of dollars worth of the most diversified materials and supplies were purchased. This huge responsibility Colonel Clark assumed as a matter of course, and he administered the office with notable efficiency, equability and breadth of vision. ‘In 1918 he was promoted to the full rank of Colonel of Cavalry.

At the conclusion of the World War, Colonel Clark was detailed as a student at the General Staff College. In 1921 he transferred to the Finance Department. His last station was at Fort Howard, Maryland, where, on the 4th of March 1922, he suddenly died. Including his cadetship at West Point, Colonel Clark’s military career covered a period of thirty-seven years, a period filled with conscientious, efficient and loyal performance of duty. He died in the active service of the country he loved, a rare character who gave more than he received and therefore lives enshrined in the hearts and minds of sympathetic friends who hold him in highest veneration. What more can a soldier ask?   S. G. J.”

 

William F. Clark, USMA Class of 1886, was first assigned as an additional 2nd Lieutenant to the 7th Cavalry, 12 June, 1890, 2nd Lt., 22 July; 1st Lt. 2nd Cavalry, 13 June, 1897; Captain 2 Feb. 1901; Graduate of the Infantry and Cavalry School, 1893, Regimental Quartermaster 1901;Transferred to 4th Cavalry, Sept.19, 1911; Major 2nd Cavalry, October 31, 1912, 1914 listed as commanding 3rd Squadron, 2nd cav. Fort Ethan Allen, VT.), 1915; Lt. Col. of Cavalry, 1 July, 1916;  Temporary Colonel of Cavalry,5 August, 1917; Colonel of Cavalry, January 17, 1918; General Staff College, 11 June 18 to 7 June, 1919; Returned to Q.M.C. May 5, 1919; Assigned to the General Staff Corps, 1920; Transferred to Finance Department (Fort Howard, MD), 10 March, 1921. Died March 1922.

 

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